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April 2015 Archives

Printable Issue 3038  Today is Wednesday, April 1st, 2015; Karen's Korner #3038

What a week to take advantage of good Easter shows on television and radio; good writings and messages on email! Wouldn't it be nice if this was how it is every week?

Here is today's email message from Anne Graham Lotz:


He Will Forgive You

"Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors."

~ Matthew 6:12 NKJV

*

"Jesus, the Lamb of God, God's own Son, was sacrificed on the altar of a wooden Roman cross.

"Normally, the crucifixion victims cursed and screamed obscenities and even passed into unconsciousness from the initial pain. Jesus reacted in a stunningly different way - He prayed, 'Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing' (Luke 23:34, NIV). Fifty days later when Peter preached at Pentecost, Jesus' prayer was answered when some of the very men who crucified Him repented of their sins, place their faith in Him, and were baptized in His Name!

"If God could forgive the men who nailed His Son to the Cross, why do you think He won't forgive you?"

***



Printable Issue 3039  Today is Thursday, April 2nd, 2015; Karen's Korner #3039

The email inspirational thoughts which I receive just keep getting better and better this Easter week.

Here is today's by Max Lucado:

CALVARY

"Come with me to the hill of Calvary. Watch as the soldiers shove the carpenter to the ground and stretch his arms against the beams. Jesus turns his face toward the nail just as the soldier lifts his hammer to strike it!

"Couldn't Jesus have stopped him? With a flex of the bicep, a clench of the fist, he could've resisted. But the moment isn't aborted. Why? Why didn't Jesus resist? As the soldier pressed his arm, Jesus saw a nail---yes. The soldier's hand---yes. But he saw something else. A long list of our lusts and lies and greedy moments and prodigal years. A list of our sins. He knew the price of those sins was death. He knew the source of those sins was you. And he couldn't bear the thought of eternity without you. He chose the nails!

****

Printable Issue 3040  Today is Friday, April 3rd, 2015; Karen's Korner #3040

Forgiveness - An Act of Worship

"Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."
~ Luke 23:34 NIV

*

"If Jesus forgave those who nailed Him to the Cross, and if God forgives you and me, how can you withhold your forgiveness from someone else? How can you withhold your forgiveness of yourself? If God say, 'I forgive you," who are you to say, 'Thank You, God, but I can't forgive myself'? Are your standards higher than His? Are you more righteous than He is? If God says, 'I forgive you,' then the only appropriate response is to say, 'God, thank You. I don't deserve it, but I accept it. And to express my gratitude, I, in turn, forgive that person who has sinned against me.'

"We forgive others, not because they deserve it, but because He deserves it! The only reason we have to forgive is that He commands us to, and our obedience gives us opportunity to say to Him, 'Thank You for forgiving me. I love You.' Our forgiveness of others then becomes an act of worship that we would not enter into except for Who He is and for the overwhelming debt of love we owe Him."

~ Anne Graham Lotz

**







Printable Issue 3041  Today is Monday, April 6th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3041

On Good Friday, our son-in-law Ed's (Merry's husband) mother passed away after a short bout with cancer.

This writing by L.B. Cowman speaks to Easter weekend. But maybe also to Ed and his family or anyone who has lost a loved one in the recent or distant past.


"The Glorious Truth of Easter:  My Lord is Living"

"I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever!"

~ Revelation 1:18

"Flowers! Easter lilies! Speak to me this morning the same sweet lesson of immortality you have been speaking to so many sorrowing souls for years. Wise old Book! Let me read again in your pages the steady assurance that 'to die is gain' (Philippians 1:21).

"Poets! Recite for me your verses that resound the gospel of eternal life in every line.

"Singer! Break forth once more into hymns of joy -- let me hear again my favorite resurrection songs.

"Trees, blossoms, and birds, and seas skies, and winds -- whisper it, sound it anew, sing it, echo it, let it beat and resonate through every atom and particle on earth, and let the air be filled with it. Let it be told and retold again and again, until hope rises to become conviction, and conviction becomes the certainty of knowing. Let it be told until, like Paul, even when we face our death, we will go triumphantly, with our faith secure and a peaceful and radiant expression on our face.

"O sad-faced mourners, who each day are wending

Through churchyard paths of cypress and of yew, 

Leave for today the low graves you are tending,

And lift your eyes to God's eternal blue!

It is no time for bitterness or sadness;

Choose Easter lilies, not pale asphodels;

Let your souls thrill to the caress of gladness,

And answer the sweet chime of Easter bells.

If Christ were still within the grave's low prison,

A captive of the Enemy we dread,

If from the rotting cell He had not risen,

Who then could dry the gloomy tears you shed?

If Christ were dead there would be need to sorrow,

But He has risen and vanquished death today;

Hush, then your sighs, if only till tomorrow,

At Easter give your grief a holiday."

~ Mary Riley Smith


"A well-known preacher was once in his study writing an Easter sermon when this thought gripped him, 'My Lord is living!' With excitement he jumped up, paced the floor, and began repeating to himself, 'Christ is alive. His body is warm. He is no the great 'I was' but the great 'I am'.

"Christ is not only a fact but a living fact. He is the glorious truth of Easter Day!

"Because of that truth, an Easter lily blooms and an angel sits at every believer's grave. We believe in a risen Lord, so do not look to the past to worship only at His tomb. Look above and within to worship the Christ who lives. Because He lives, we live."

~ Abbott Benjamin Vaughan

***





Printable Issue 3042  Today is Tuesday, April 7th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3042

In light of some of things in the news this past week. Or maybe the recent past. This is a writing which a friend of mine had tucked in her Bible:

"Yes, I am a Christian

I believe the Bible

I do not support homosexuality

or homosexual marriage


"Yes, I still love you

Yes, we are still friends

No, I am not judging you

No, I am not condemning you to hell

No, I will not let anyone bully you.


"But -

I realize that name calling

and stereotyping those of us who stand for what we believe in

is exactly what you don't want done to you.


"We all have the right to speak what we believe

Same as you have a right to speak what you believe."

**


 


Printable Issue 3043  Today is Wednesday, April 8th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3043

Today's writing by Sarah Young from "Jesus Calling:  Enjoying Peace in His Presence"

:

"I AM WITH YOU AND FOR YOU, your constant Companion and Provider. The question is whether you are with Me and for Me. Though I never leave you, you can essentially 'leave' Me by ignoring Me:  thinking or acting as if I am not with you. When you feel distance in our relationship, you know where the problem lies. My Love for you is constant: I am the same yesterday, today, and forever. It is you who change like shifting sand, letting circumstances toss you this way and that.

"When you feel far from Me, whisper My Name. This simple act, done in childlike faith, opens your heart to My Presence. Speak to Me in love-tones; prepare to receive My Love, which flows eternally from the cross. I am delighted when you open yourself to My loving Presence."

Based on Genesis 28:15; Romans 8:31; Hebrews 13:8

***

Printable Issue 3044  Today is Thursday, April 9th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3044

"What a God he is!

How perfect in every way!

All his promises prove true.

He is a shield for everyone who hides behind him.

For who is God except our Lord?

Who but he is a rock?"

~ Psalm 18:30 & 31 LAB

*

Commentary: "Many people say belief in God is a crutch for weak people who cannot make it on their own. God is indeed a shield to protect us when we are too weak to face certain trials by ourselves. He strengthens, protects, and guides us in order to send us back into an evil world to fight for him."

***


Printable Issue 3045  Today is Friday, April 10th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3045

What are you 'dragging around' today? What am I dragging along with me in my thoughts? As I get out of bed? Something that just rattles through our minds?

Jealousy? Hatred or bitterness? Sadness? A broken relationship? Worry about a family member or what is happening in our world? The world? You know the list. And we can't seem to 'shake it'.

How about stopping the 'whirl in our minds' just for today? Identify it and then lay it down at Jesus feet; at the cross.

Then pick up something NEW to drag around to take its place. Peace? Love? Trust? Grace? Mercy?

Today I am going to choose to 'drag around' JOY! My 'heart, body and soul are filled with JOY!" (Psalm 16:9)

Father God, thank You that Your ways are not our ways. We need Your help! We are leaving behind that thought that drags us down. Help us to replace it with You and the gifts that You have for us. Remind me of them; sometimes we forget. Today I celebrate Your Joy! In Jesus' Name, Amen.


Printable Issue 3046  Today is Monday, April 13th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3046

Some of our sermons on Sunday morning, our minister kicks off with a Bible verse or maybe two. Then he has us 'group up' with several in or near us to read the assigned Bible verse and asks us to discuss briefly, what it might mean to us. Next we are asked to 'shout out' what we might have discovered.

Such was the assignment for yesterday's sermon. Here is the Bible verses:

"Instead, we will lovingly follow the truth at all times---speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly----and so become more and more in every way like Christ who is the Head of his body, the Church. Under his direction the whole body is fitted together perfectly, and each part in its own special way helps the other parts, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love."

~ Ephesians 4:15,16 LAB

*

Our small group snagged some information from a Bible Commentary on these verses which helped explain what we read:

"Some Christians fear that any mistake will destroy their witness for the Lord. They see their own weaknesses, and they know that many non-Christians seem to have stronger character than they do. How can they be new and different persons, holy, and good? The Good News is that Jesus forms us into a body---into a group of individuals who are united in their purpose and in their love for one another an for Christ. If an individual stumbles, the rest of the group is there to pick him/her up and help him/her walk with the Lord again. If an individual sins, he/she can find restoration through the church even as the rest of the body continues to witness to God's truth. As part of Christ's body, we will reflect part of Christ's character and do part of his work. As we grow to be more and more like him, we will be able to give more and more thanks for our brothers and sister in Christ, without whom we could not adequately represent  the Lord."

***


Printable Issue 3047  Today is Tuesday, April 14th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3047

Overcoming Obstacles

"The women asked each other, 'Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?'"

~ Mark 16:3 NIV

"The women who had been so faithfully vigilant at the Cross during the long hours of Jesus' suffering returned together first thing Sunday morning to complete the embalming process that Joseph and Nicodemus had hastily done late Friday afternoon.

"Their voices could be heard on the brisk early morning air as they discussed the problem of how they would roll the stone away. They knew it would be impossible for them to accomplish, even if all of them pushed together. What stone, what obstacle is ahead of you that you think you can't move or get around, that blocks you for fulfilling your commitment to the Lord? Is it the stone of

financial limitations?

practical inexperience?

physical weakness?

"If we steadfastly cling to our faith in Him, persevering in our commitment with obedience to His direction and call in our lives, He will roll away the stones for us!"

~ Anne Graham Lotz

***



Printable Issue 3048  Today is Wednesday, April 15th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3048

Taken from "The Irish Get Up and Go Diary - 2015":


"There is nothing wrong with having a bad day.

There is everything wrong with making others have to have it with you."

~ Neil Cavuto

*

"Everyone has inside of him/her a piece of good news.

The good news is that you don't know how great you can be,

how much you can love,

what you can accomplish,

and what your potential is!"

~ Ann Frank

*

"We didn't lose the game;

we just ran out of time.

~ Vince Lombardi

*

"A bird does not sing because it has an answer.

It sings because it has a song.

~ Chinese Proverb

*

"A reporter asked a couple:

'How did you manage to stay together for 65 years?'

The woman replied, 'We were born in a time when if something was broken we would fix it, not throw it away.'"

~ Anonymous

*

"Forgiveness....is the finishing of old business that allows us to

experience the present, free of contamination from the past."

~ Joan Borysenko

****

Printable Issue 3049  Today is Thursday, April 16th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3049

A Reminder of Who is in Charge

"Prayer reminds us of who is in charge. You don't take your requests to someone with less authority. You take them to someone who outranks you in the solutions department.

"The same is true in prayer. You don't pray just to let God know what's going on. He's way ahead of you on that one. You pray to transfer 'my will be done' to 'God' will be done'. And, since He's in charge, He knows the best solution. Prayer transfers the burden to God and He lightens your load. Prayer pushes us through life's slumps, propels us over the humps, and pulls us out of the dumps. Prayer is the oomp we need to get the answers we seek. So, pray.......today!

~ By Max Lucado

**

Printable Issue 3050  Today is Friday, April 17th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3050

Sarah Young's "Jesus Calling:  Enjoying Peace in His Presence" is an inspirational 'daily day brightener'. Every day's writing is good; I liked yesterday's:

"I am calling You to a life of thankfulness. I want all your moments to be punctuated with thanksgiving. The basis for your gratitude is My sovereignty. I am the Creator and Controller of the universe. Heaven and earth are filled with My glorious Presence.

"When you criticize or complain, you are acting as if you think you could run the world better than I do. From your limited human perspective, it may look as if I'm mismanaging things. But you don't know what I know or see what I see. If you pulled back the curtain to allow you to view heavenly realms, you would understand much more. However, I have designed you to live by faith, not by sight. I lovingly shield you from knowing the future or seeing into the spirit world. Acknowledge My sovereignty by giving thanks in all circumstances."


~ Written as if Jesus were talking;

taken from Isaiah 6:3; 2 Corinthians 5:7; I Thessalonians 5:18 

Printable Issue 3051  Today is Monday, April 20th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3051


"It is good to say, 'Thank you for your kindness,' and every evening rejoice in all his faithfulness. Sing his praises, accompanied by music from the harp and lute and lyre. You have done so much for me, O Lord. No wonder I am glad! I sing for joy."

~ Psalm 92:1-4 LAB

*

Commentary:  "During the Thanksgiving holiday, we focus on our blessings and express our gratitude to God for them. But thanks should be on our lips daily. We can never say thank you enough to parents, friends, leaders, and especially to God. When thanksgiving becomes an integral part of your life, you will find that your attitude toward life will change. You will become more positive, gracious, loving, and humble."

***

Printable Issue 3052  Today is Tuesday, April 21st, 2015; Karen's Korner #3052


Moral Absolutes

"When I was nine years old, I complimented a friend's model airplane. He said, 'I stole it!' He could tell I was stunned because he asked, 'Do you think that was wrong?' When I told him I did, he answered simply, 'It may be wrong for you, but it's not wrong for me. I know the owner. He's rich...I'm not.'

"What do you say to that argument? If the majority opinion determines good and evil, what happens when the majority is wrong? A godly view of the world has something to say to my childhood thief. You may think it's right. Society may think it's okay. But the God who made you said, 'You shall not steal'---and he wasn't kidding. The hedonist's world of no moral absolutes works fine on paper and sounds great in a college philosophy course, but in life? Paul described it best in Romans 1:21, 'Their foolish minds were filled with darkness.'"

~ By Max Lucado

***

Printable Issue 3053  Today is Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015; Karen's Korner #3053

Clarion is a fortunate community to have a number of ministries and outreaches which are ecumenical in nature.

"House of Grace" is one of those outreaches 'manned' by nearly a dozen women from a couple of churches. Best part - for us older gals - they are all under 50! They are driven by their love for God and wanting others to know of His love, care, forgiveness, inclusion into His 'forever family'.

The once-per-month night of 'House of Grace' will be held for a second time tomorrow evening, Thursday, at the Clarion Church of Christ. If you are interested and within driving distance, come at 7!

One of the organizers sent out an advance prayer list plus a 'Bible verse' for readers to consider. Here it is, whether you can be part of the evening or not:

"For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in you inner being so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord's holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."

~ Ephesians 3:14 - 19

***

Printable Issue 3054  Today is Thursday, April 23rd, 2015; Karen's Korner #3054

Something written by Christine Caine; enjoy!

Heart Pain:  God's Work Will Bring Healing

"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."

~ Psalm 147:3

*

"I had to tackle many challenges from my past in order to step into my God-given destiny. I was left in a hospital unnamed and unwanted when I was born and am living proof that no matter how you start in life, you can take charge of your life and run to win. We do not need live like victims; rather we can appropriate the truth of the Word of God in every area of our lives and experience complete healing and wholeness.

"If I had not allowed God's Word to bring healing into my life, I would not be fulfilling my destiny now. Despite having the God-given gifts and talents that I needed, I was so weak emotionally that my soul would not allow me to go where my gifts could take me. It was crucial that I dealt with all the areas of brokenness in my heart.

"Our inner world totally affect our outer world. If there is a disparity between what's going on inside our hearts and what's happening in our external world, we will eventually implode; our lives will break down or blow up. The Bible is full of examples of people who did not run their races and finish their course because they did not deal with issues of their soul.

"Ensure that you allow God to work deeply in you so that He is able to work powerfully through you."

***

Printable Issue 3055  Today is Friday, April 24th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3055

Several Proverbs to take us into the weekend:


"How does a man become wise? The first step is to trust and reverence the Lord!"

~ Proverbs 1:7

*

"Wickedness never brings real success; only the godly have that."

~ Proverbs 12:3

*

"Fire goes out for lack of fuel, and tensions disappear when gossip stops."

~ Proverbs 26:20

*

"Jealousy is more dangerous and cruel than anger."

~ Proverbs 27:4

***


Printable Issue 3056  Today is Monday, April 27th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3056

This is the whole chapter of Psalms 98; don't worry it is short!

Theme:  "A song of joy and victory. Because God is victorious over evil, all those who follow him will be victorious with him when he judges the earth."


"Sing a new song to the Lord telling about his mighty deeds! For he has won a mighty victory by his power and holiness. He has announced this victory and revealed it to every nation by fulfilling his promise to be kind to Israel. The whole earth has seen God's salvation of his people. That is why the earth breaks out in praise to God, and sings for utter joy!

"Sing your praise accompanied by music from the harp. Let the cornets and trumpets shout! Make a joyful symphony before the Lord, the King! Let the sea in all its vastness roar with praise! Let the earth and all those living on it shout, 'Glory to the Lord.'

"Let the waves clap their hands in glee, and the hills sing out their songs of joy before the Lord, for he is coming to judge the world with perfect justice."

~ Psalm 98 LAB

*

Bible Commentary:  "This is a psalm of praise anticipating the coming of Jesus. Jesus came to save all men from their sins, and is coming again to judge the world. God is both perfectly loving and perfectly just. He is merciful when he punishes, and he overlooks no sin when he loves. Praise him for his promise to save you and to return again."

*****


Printable Issue 3057  Today is Tuesday, April 28th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3057

Forwarded to me by a friend; something written by Rick Warren of "Purpose Driven Life" fame:


The Secret of Being a Likeable Person

"Joseph lived in the home of Potiphar, his Egyptian owner. Soon Potiphar realized that the LORD was helping Joseph to be successful in whatever he did. Potiphar liked Joseph and made him his personal assistant."

~ Genesis 39:2-4a CEV

*

"If you want to stand out at work, you need to be likeable. If people don't like you, they're not going to trust you, and they certainly won't promote you.

*A lot of people think that likeability is just a matter of personality. You're either a likeable person or you're not.

"But nothing could be further from the truth. Likeability is not personality; it's character. It's behavior. It's how you choose to relate to other people. Likeability is possessing the attractive attitudes--and those are choices--and the relational skills that cause others to want to work with you.

"Do you want to be liked by other people? Here's the big secret:  Like them. That's it. If you like people, guess what? They're going to like you. If you don't like people, they're not going to like you. To be likeable you just have to like people. You have to genuinely enjoy them. You have to choose to be interested in others and think less about yourself.

"Joseph is a good example of likeability in Genesis 39:2-4: 'Joseph lived in the home of Potiphar, his Egyptian owner. Soon Potiphar realized that the LORD was helping Joseph to be successful in whatever he did. Potiphar liked Joseph and made him his personal assistant.' Potiphar took a guy who started off as a slave and promoted him to the manager of his household because he noticed Joseph was a good person, and he liked him.

"What are the attractive attitudes that make someone likeable? How about humility? Would you rather be around someone who is arrogant or someone who is humble?

"How about cheerfulness? Would you rather be around somebody who's cheerful or grouchy?

"How about empathy? When you tell others that you're not feeling well, would your rather they respond, 'That's too bad' or 'I'm really sorry. What's going on?' When you're empathetic with someone who is hurting, guess what? You're likeable. Bosses like people who are empathetic to their stress, who understand, who look at a situation from somebody else's viewpoint.

"When you help somebody else succeed, then you're gong to be likeable. And when you're likeable, you're going to go far."

***

Printable Issue 3058  Today is Wednesday, April 29th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3058

"He (God) created everything there is -- nothing exists that He didn't make."

~ John 1:3 LAB

*

Bible Commentary:  "When God created, He made something from nothing. Because we are created beings, we have no basis for pride. Remember that you exist only because God made you, and you have special gifts only because God gave them to you. With God you are something special; apart from God you are nothing, because you are not fulfilling the purpose for which you were made."

**

Thank God, that You created each of us; and we are special! Thank You for all the gifts which we have been given - different one from another, but all of them worth celebrating. Thank You for Your love and care that never ends. You are worthy of our praise. In Your Son Jesus' Name. Amen.


Printable Issue 3059  Today is Thursday, April 30th, 2015; Karen's Korner #3059

Today's entry is by Sarah Young from her "Jesus Calling:  Enjoying Peace in His Presence". It's a good one, like all of them. Some just seem to hit where we are better on certain days than others:


"When some basic need is lacking---time, energy, money---consider yourself blessed. Your very lack is an opportunity to latch onto Me in unashamed dependence. When you begin a day with inadequate resources, you must concentrate your efforts on the present moment. This is where you are meant to live---in the present; it is the place where I always await you. Awareness of your inadequacy is a rich blessing, training you to rely wholeheartedly on Me.

"The truth is that self-sufficiency is a myth perpetuated by pride and temporary success. Heath and wealth can disappear instantly, as can life itself. Rejoice in your insufficiency, knowing that My Presence is made perfect in weakness."

~ Worded from James 1:2; 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NASB)

***